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The Saloon at Kingston Lacy with a high coved ceiling, fireplace, carved wood doors, framed paintings and furniture around the room
The Saloon at Kingston Lacy | © National Trust Images / Andreas von Einsiedel

Houses and buildings in Dorset

There are all sorts of houses and buildings to visit in Dorset, from an Italian-inspired mansion and a ruined castle to quiet retreats. Discover new places to explore for a great day out with the family.

Houses and buildings to visit in Dorset

Chimneypiece in the Inner Hall, carved with William Bankes's coat of arms quartered with those of Wynne and Brune, at Kingston Lacy

The house at Kingston Lacy 

Find out more about the Bankes family home. Discover art treasures and look at how a large home was used by the family and their visitors who came to stay.

Corfe Castle bathed in golden sunlight

Corfe Castle 

Thousand-year-old royal castle shaped by warfare

Wareham, Dorset

Fully open today
Hardy's Cottage in autumn in late afternoon sunshine in Dorset.

Hardy's Cottage 

Explore the simple thatched cottage where Thomas Hardy was born and raised, and the surrounding woodland landscape that greatly influenced his work.

Three adults and a baby in a red room in the house at Max Gate

Max Gate 

Designed by Thomas Hardy himself, Max Gate is where he wrote some of his greatest novels and poetry, and where he lived until his death in 1928.

Sunset over Hardy Monument

Hardy Monument 

Discover a monument to Vice-Admiral Hardy, built in 1844 and standing on an exposed location, above the village of Portesham.

Portesham, Dorset

Partially open today
The Bookroom at Clouds Hill, Dorset

Things to do at Clouds Hill 

Explore inside the cottage where Lawrence of Arabia, TE Lawrence, sat to write, read and relax away from army life, and discover the shed where he tended to his beloved motorbike.

Visitors outside the White Mill at Kingston Lacy, Dorset

Explore White Mill 

In a peaceful corner of Dorset stands White Mill, nestled on the River Stour in the Kingston Lacy estate. Discover more about the last surviving mill on this stretch of the river.

An early morning view across Corfe Castle, Dorset in winter

Discover more in Dorset

Home to everything from an island, ancient coasts and hidden gems to a castle and a house inspired by an Italian palace.